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BC QB Tyler Murphy, OL Andy Gallik, LB Josh Keyes earn ACC honors for roles in win over USC

09.15.14 at 3:03 pm ET
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Following Saturday night’s stunning 37-31 victory over ninth-ranked USC, Boston College dominated the ACC honors that were handed out Monday.

Tyler Murphy

Tyler Murphy

Quarterback Tyler Murphy was named Offensive Back of the Week, center Andy Gallik was tabbed Offensive Lineman of the Week and Josh Keyes was selected Linebacker of the Week.

Murphy rushed for 191 yards, the second-highest total by a quarterback in ACC history. He averaged 14.7 yards per carry against a USC defense that came in allowing just 4.0 yards per rush through two games. Murphy’s 66-yards touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the game away, giving BC a 37-24 lead with 3:30 remaining.

Gallik, like Murphy a graduate student, helped the Eagles rush for 452 yards and total 506 yards of offense — the second time this season the Eagles have passed the 500-yard mark.

Keyes had eight tackles, including seven solo and 5.5 for loss, and helped limit the Trojans to 20 rushing yards in the game. He had a key sack of USC quarterback Cody Kessler on a third-down play in the fourth quarter with BC protecting a 10-point lead.

 

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BC coach Steve Addazio on MFB: Saturday night win over USC ‘most electric atmosphere I’ve been in since I’ve been at Boston College’

09.15.14 at 2:44 pm ET
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Boston College football coach Steve Addazio, riding high after Saturday night’s upset of ninth-ranked USC, joined Middays with MFB to recount the monumental win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Steve Addazio (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Steve Addazio led the Eagles to an upset of ninth-ranked USC on Saturday night. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The game was dedicated to the memory of Welles Crowther, a former BC lacrosse player who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, after leading a number of people to safety at the World Trade Center. Crowther, known for wearing a red bandanna, returned to the South Tower to rescue more people when the building collapsed.

BC players wore red bandanna-patterned designs on their helmets and other parts of their uniform to pay tribute to Crowther.

“I’m a big believer in the emotional side, in the passion side of the game,” Addazio said. “Obviously if you don’t have your X’s and O’s and your fundamentals right, you’re not going to overcome it with just that. By why not both? Why not play with that passion and that high energy and that emotion. It’s what the game is all about to me, and that’s what I love about the college game.

“Having a chance to be a part of that red bandanna game to honor Welles Crowther and everything that he stood for. … All that we’ve been hearing all week long [about NFL players misbehaving], it’s kind of made my stomach turn. But now let’s talk about a great story, a story about a guy that was unselfish, that gave of himself, gave his life to save other people. That’s kind of what the BC ‘service for others’ is — obviously that’s an extreme, but that’s what it’s all about.”

Addazio said he gave the team “a little history lesson” about 9/11 and talked about how Crowther was “one of our own,” a BC athlete who went on to leave a lasting mark outside the world of sports.

“Kids need to hear more about [Crowther's heroics]. They don’t need to hear more about elevators and everything else,” Addazio said. “They need to hear more about, to me, the true greatness that lies in a lot of people. And this was an unbelievable story. Being a part of it, and being around his parents after the game, it was just moving.”

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Why it’s time to start paying attention to ‘big time’ Tyler Murphy

09.14.14 at 11:51 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Steve Addazio was not the least bit surprised in what he saw from Tyler Murphy on the national stage Saturday night against a Top 10 team. Murphy had 191 yards rushing on 13 carries and a game-breaking touchdown run in BC’s shocking 37-31 win over USC Saturday night at Alumni Stadium.

But before the awesome rushing display in the second half, Addazio watched as his read-option quarterback kept his cool in the first half when the Eagles fell behind, 17-6, to the ninth-ranked team in the country.

“€œIt was early in the game when they got up on us,” Murphy said. “Coach always says that we are going to stick to the
game plan, get it to the fourth quarter and win there. So we just kept believing and taking it one play at
a time. There was a lot of football to play. The guys did a good job of putting everything on the line and
fighting to come back.”

When Addazio went to the University of Florida to recruit Murphy, who was leaving the Gators last season with a year left of eligibility, he knew he was getting a mature quarterback who wouldn’t panic when times got tough.

“Yes, this is what I hoped for,” Addazio said. “And I saw it in training camp. He was a great leader for us, just really his demeanor, his energy, his attack of the game plan. We just watched him start to grow and emerge. You saw it in Week 1, you saw it last week and you saw it this week, just taking control of the game.”

“We rushed for 452 yards. They rushed for 20. We had very few penalties. We had one turnover. Tyler Murphy had 191 yards rushing. Tyler Murphy played like a big time player.”

Why is that such a big deal to Addazio?

“When you have a big-time quarterback, that’s what they do, they take control of the game,” Addazio said. “They make the plays that are there to be made. He threw the ball really well, ran the ball really well, practiced this week with a steel resolve really well. Good things happen to good people that work hard and that’s what happened.”

Taking control of the game is exactly what Murphy did in the second half when the Eagles needed it the most. When USC drew to within six points at 30-24 with under five minutes left, BC needed one drive to kill the clock and keep USC at bay. Murphy went one better – he put the game away with a 66-yard sprint on a perfectly-executed read option off the left end.

The touchdown put BC up, 37-24, and Murphy and the Eagles could sense a huge win on the national stage.

“€œIt meant a lot, especially after last week’€™s loss,” Murphy said of the win eight days after getting handled by Pittsburgh. “Coach really challenged us as a team this week and we really went after it. It goes to show that if we really set our minds to something and we play as a team, the sky’€™s the limit. Personally, it’€™s been a long journey. It means a lot to me. It’€™s pretty easy on my part because I have guys who want to work and sacrifice for each other. We really just try to stick together as a team and out-play teams.”

“First of all, he has skills. I knew he could throw it, I knew he could run it, I knew he was a tremendous person. I knew he had the respect of his teammates at Florida. I knew they had deep respect for him, and that’s a starting point because players know. When they respect guys, there’s a reason they respect guys. He had a great respect. So, I knew there was a winner there just waiting for an opportunity. I knew him from when I recruited him and I knew that we were getting an extremely high-character individual that football meant a lot to. I was fortunate I had a history. For me, it was quite easy, really.”

With a win over the ninth-ranked team in the country, expectations will surely rise over the next month, with teams like Maine and Colorado State on deck before they enter the meat of the ACC schedule. And Murphy will be there to keep his teammates on an even kiel.

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BC stuns, runs over No. 9 USC

09.13.14 at 11:33 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — The Boston College football team came up with the perfect tribute to Welles Crowther and Pete Frates Saturday night.

On an emotional night in which the late Crowther (a 9/11 hero) and Frates (a living international symbol of the fight against ALS) were honored, the Eagles came up with the biggest win of the Steve Addazio era, a shocking 37-31 upset of No. 9 Southern Cal at Alumni Stadium.

“It’s a great, great night for our team, for the players,” coach Addazio said. “They played really hard and came off a rough week last week. We had a really hard week of practice. There were a lot of people second-guessing them but they had a real steel resolve.

“This red bandanna game meant a lot. We talked a lot of about Welles Crowther, we talked a lot about who he was and what it takes to be a BC man. Our guys dug deep on this. This was a great win. It was all over, a lot of big plays by a lot of people We were proud to give out one of the game balls out to the Crowther family after the game.”

The Eagles beat the Trojans badly all night long in the trenches. Boston College ran the ball 54 times for 452 yards while USC had just 20 yards on 29 carries. The school’s all-time mark is 518 yards against UMass in 1973.

While the Eagles were running all over USC, they also got to USC quarterback Cody Kessler for five sacks and minimized the effect of USC’s speedy receiving corps.

“We sacked them. We harassed them. We played relentlessly on defense,” Addazio said. “That’€™s a good football team.
This is the first win over a top-10 opponent in 10 years. We played hard. Anybody who was at the game
would say that this team just wouldn’€™t back down. We just kept coming and kept playing. I’€™m most
proud of that.

“I said to our team going into the game that all I ask is that we play with relentless effort
and that we play really, really hard. That’€™s what we talked about and to have faith, faith in each other.
They did that. They responded. I’€™m very, very proud of our football team. I’€™m very proud of our
coaching staff.

“Offensively we had 506 yards to their 337. We rushed for 452 yards. They rushed for 20. We had very
few penalties. We had one turnover. Tyler Murphy had 191 yards rushing. Tyler Murphy played like a
big time player.”

Murphy, the option quarterback who put the game on ice with a 66-yard touchdown read-option run with 3:30 left, finished with 191 carries on just 13 carries. Jon Hillman (19 carries) and Myles Willis (nine carries) each added 89 yards on the ground. Hillman added two touchdowns on the night for Boston College, which improved to 2-1.

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NCAA ends Penn State’s postseason ban

09.08.14 at 3:19 pm ET
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While the sports world was focused on Ray Rice‘s release, the NCAA announced on Monday that it has restored Penn State’s postseason eligibility, effective immediately. It also announced that Penn State football will be able to return to a full complement of scholarships for the 2015 season.

In July 2012, the NCAA banned Penn State from the postseason for four years and took away 40 scholarships total in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the school’s enabling of his actions.

The NCAA cited Penn State’s “significant progress toward ensuring its athletics department functions with integrity” in its decision to end the ban and return the scholarships. It also said the action is an endorsement of the most recent recommendations made by George Mitchell, the university’s athletics integrity monitor.

“Penn State’s commitment to the integrity of its athletics department and its progress toward meeting the requirements of the Consent Decree are clear,” said Rita Hartung Cheng, who chaired Monday’s executive committee meeting. “We thank Senator Mitchell for his meticulous and exhaustive work over the past two years. Mitchell’s efforts and the dedication of Penn State officials made today’s decisions possible.”

Steve Addazio watches as his Eagles get steamrolled by James Conner: ‘Their running back couldn’t be tackled’

09.06.14 at 10:01 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — For most of 2013, it was Andre Williams dishing out the punishment against Boston College opponents.

On Friday night, the tables were turned in a big way as James Conner came to town with the Pittsburgh Panthers and, with the help of a powerful offensive line, ran roughshod over and through the Eagles defense for 213 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers knew what they had in Conner and knew BC had no answers. The Panthers gave it to Conner early and often, to the tune of 35 carries in a 30-20 win over the Eagles at Alumni Stadium.

Afterward, BC head coach Steve Addazio didn’t have to get too deep into football Xs and Os to assess what happened.

“œIt’€™s a real simple equation here,” Addazio began. “In my opinion we couldn’€™t stop the run on defense. We couldn’€™t establish the run on offense. We didn’€™t tackle well on defense. We didn’€™t complete throwing opportunities, and we had numerous ones, on offense.”

With no Andre Williams available to counter, Conner outgained the entire BC rushing collection of five carriers, 213-142. As a matter of fact, the most effective ball carrier for the Eagles was Tyler Murphy, their read option quarterback. He broke away for a 51-yard run in the first quarter, leading to a touchdown. But throw out that run and BC totaled just 91 yards on 33 carries.

Too much Conner and not enough answers from BC, either on defense or on offense.

“€œI knew he would be good,” Addazio said. “None of us had any delusions. He was going to run inside. He’€™s a strong runner. He’€™s a heck of a back. We had to tackle him. We had plenty of opportunities. Schematically, not all of the time, but a lot of the time, we were in position to make those plays and we didn’€™t make those tackles. Missed tackle, missed tackle, missed tackle. You’€™ve got to tackle that guy. You’€™ve got to wrap and drive him.

“We couldn’€™t stop the run. We couldn’€™t establish the run. We couldn’€™t complete the necessary passes which we had great opportunities to do. €œI thought Pitt played a great game. I thought their running back is a heck of a player. I thought their quarterback was pretty competitive. Their running back couldn’€™t be tackled. That’€™s on us. We’€™ve got to do a much better job. He’€™s a heck of a player but we’€™ve also got to do a much, much better job tackling. So we’€™ve got to get back to work and get on the fundamentals here. When we get back into full pads we have to start tackling again. We got away from that because it was a short week. We’€™ve got to go back and tackle, do all the things necessary to develop this football team.”

The compete level and tackling better pick up and pick up quickly as the Eagles host No. 14 USC next Saturday night at Alumni Stadium. Where the Panthers pounded the Eagles, the Trojans traditionally have speed to the outside and deep passing threats to exploit the BC defense that couldn’t tackle Friday night.

“€œI like the way we competed at the end,” Addazio said of Murphy’s touchdown run late that made it 30-20. BC missed a two-point conversion that would’ve made it a one-possession game with 43 seconds left. BC even recovered an onside kick after the final touchdown.

“We kept scratching and fighting. If we had converted the two-point conversion at the end and recover the onside kick it’€™s a one score game. That’€™s great and all that but the body of the game, in my opinion, €œwe knew going into this game that we had to stop the run. We didn’€™t do it. It didn’€™t happen.”

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James Conner, Tyler Boyd too much for Boston College as Pitt spoils home opener

09.05.14 at 10:30 pm ET
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Tyler Murphy drops back to pass before connecting on a 48-yard TD pass to Shakim Phillips. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Tyler Murphy drops back to pass before connecting on a 48-yard TD pass to Shakim Phillips. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College couldn’t quite handle the step up in competition Friday night in their home opener.

Pittsburgh star tailback James Conner rushed for 213 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries while quarterback Chad Voytik connected on touchdown passes of 15 and five yards to Tyler Boyd to power the Panthers to a 30-20 win over the Eagles at Alumni Stadium in the ACC opener for both teams.

Conner outgained the combined efforts of five Boston College carriers. Murphy

Pittsburgh (2-0, 1-0) took the opening kickoff and marched down to the Boston College 31, where Chris Blewitt connected from 49 yards to stake the Panthers to a 3-0 lead with 11:32 left in the first quarter.

BC quarterback Tyler Murphy, the star of the Week 1 win over UMass, responded with a scoring drive that gave the Eagles (1-1, 0-1) their only lead of the night. The march down the field featured a spectacular read-option run by Murphy of 51 yards down to the Pitt 1. The play was initially ruled a touchdown but as the fireworks went off at Alumni Stadium, the run was reviewed and Murphy was ruled out of bounds one yard shy of the end zone.

Tyler Rouse punched it in on the next play to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead with 9:55 left in the opening quarter.

But the Panthers started giving it to their workhorse, sophomore running James Conner. The plan started to play dividends as Conner and the big Panthers offensive line wore down Boston College. Conner finished the first half with 130 yards on 15 carries, 36 yards more than the combined effort of five Eagles’ carriers.

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UNH goalie Casey DeSmith suspended indefinitely following arrest

09.03.14 at 4:40 pm ET
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New Hampshire goalie Casey DeSmith has been suspended indefinitely from the team after getting arrested over the weekend. According to reports, DeSmith was arrested early Sunday morning following a domestic dispute and was charged with simple assault and resisting arrest.

According to a verbal statement obtained from police by The New Hampshire, the female victim was “thrown to the ground, jumped on top of and was repeatedly punched and spat upon.” DeSmith appeared to be intoxicated and resisted arrest when confronted by police, according to the report.

“The University of New Hampshire is aware of Casey DeSmith’s arrest,” the school said in a statement. “The university takes the allegations very seriously and will always act to ensure the health and safety of our community. The university will treat this report with the seriousness that it deserves and in a manner consistent with our handling of similar cases involving any UNH student. Consistent with our policies regarding student athletes charged with this type of behavior, Mr. DeSmith has been suspended from the men’s hockey team pending further investigation into the matter.”

DeSmith, a senior, had been the Wildcats’ starting goalie ever since winning the job as a freshman midway through the 2011-12 season. He posted a 20-16-0 record and .920 save percentage last season and was expected to be the team’s full-time starter again this year. With DeSmith’s future with the team now up in the air, the Wildcats are left with junior Jamie Regan (who has played just seven minutes the last two years) and freshman Adam Clark in net.

Tyler Murphy in his first game with Eagles shows he’s already a leader

08.30.14 at 7:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Quarterback Tyler Murphy made a triumphant debut for Boston College Saturday, completing 17-of-24 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown while rushing 13 times for 118 yards and a touchdown to lead Boston College to a 30-7 win over the University of Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium.

“I wanted to come out and take care of the football,” Murphy said afterward. “I realized it wasn’t going to be one of those days. I take what they give us. So I started to take a little shorter routes.”

With UMass dropping eight men back in coverage and taking away the long ball, Murphy began to use his speed to gain the corners and break big runs. Once he started to soften the Minutemen defense at the line and they came closer to the line of scrimmage, Murphy eventually took advantage, firing a 43-yard touchdown to Josh Bordner down the right sideline in the fourth quarter to break the game open.

“I thought I played all right,” Murphy said. “There’s still a lot of room to approve and ways to get better.”

His head coach was a little more exuberant.

“I was extremely proud and excited about Tyler today,” Steve Addazio said. “He managed the game like a veteran big time player.”

The most striking aspect of his debut Saturday is that he came in as a graduate student transfer from the University of Florida, where he played in nine games last season, starting six and completing 60.5 percent of his passes before injury ended it. The Florida Gators struggled to a disastrous 4-8 season but between the on-field struggles and his injury, he learned how to persevere. Now, those qualities are helping him lead a brand new football team.

“You have to find a way to motivate guys, push guys and get them to buy into the program,” Murphy said. “Letting them feel my presence, letting them know I’m there.”

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BC overpowers UMass in season opener at Gillette Stadium

08.30.14 at 5:58 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tyler Murphy and Boston College were just too much for UMass.

The Battle for the Bay State turned into a ground war and the Minutemen were no match for the Eagles as BC outgained UMass, 338-55 on the ground, and 511-202 overall, as Boston College eased its way to a 30-7 win Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

“Thought our team played a strong, hard, pretty clean game with a couple early penalties cost us in the red zone,” coach Steve Addazio said. “All and all, pleased with opening day, now put that with what it is- it’s opening day, we got a lot of work to do.

“I thought UMass, I thought [new head coach] Mark Whipple and his staff did a great job. You can see the improvement of their football team and that was evident to me. I think they have good things to come.”

In its first game without All-American running back and 2013 Heisman finalist Andre Williams, the Eagles and coach Steve Addazio seemed intent on proving they could still run the ball at will, led by their athletic option quarterback Tyler Murphy, a graduate student transfer from the University of Florida.

Murphy finished with 118 yards rushing on 13 carries, including a 1-yard bootleg keeper for a touchdown in the third quarter. Murphy finished 17-of-24 passing for 173 yards in his first game with the Eagles. He had a touchdown and an interception.

Sophomore tailback Tyler Rouse chipped in with 87 yards on 19 carries as the Eagles won 25th meeting between the two schools but the first since UMass moved up to Football Bowl Subdivision. BC has now won 20 of the 25 encounters between the two in-state rivals.

“We are trying to get better,” Addazio said. “Each week improve. The biggest growth in the football team is in the first few weeks. We took a positive step but we have to continue to grow.

“We are a real strong, physical, kind of move the ball down the field team, but I would like to see if we can create big-yardage explosives.”

Early on, it was a defensive struggle, with Boston College settling for a 44-yard field goal from Alex Howell just 39 seconds into the second quarter. Joey Launceford added a 28-yard field goal with 5:29 left before the half to put Boston College up, 6-0.

UMass had a golden opportunity to take the lead late in the second quarter when Murphy, making his first start as a graduate student transfer from the University of Florida, was intercepted by Randall Jette. The UMass defensive back returned the ball 20 yards to the Boston College 19.

But UMass self-destructed and went backwards from there. Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel took an intentional grounding on first down and threw an incomplete pass on second down. After a four-yard gain on third down, UMass was forced to settle for a 47-yard field goal from Blake Lucas that was wide right.

Murphy marched BC down the field just before half time and gave the Eagles a chance at more points but a 44-yard field goal attempt by Alex Howell was wide right and BC settled for a 6-0 halftime lead despite outgaining UMass, 276-84, including 211-22 on the ground. BC ran 45 plays in the first half to just 24 for UMass.

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